Function Type: Lookup and Reference


VLOOKUP is one of the most popular functions in Excel. It is used to lookup a data and retrieve the corresponding data from a specific column. You may either lookup for the exact or approximate match. The “V” in Vlookup means Vertical.

Function Structure: 

=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, column_index_number, [range_lookup])

Argument Breakdown:

lookup_value – This is the data that excel will lookup into the table. The lookup value should always be in the first column of the table. It may be an alphanumeric, numbers, or a function. There should only be 1 data / cell  of lookup value per Vlookup.

table_array – This is the table that excel will lookup into. It should contain the lookup_value. The structure of the table should be in vertical alignment.

column_index_number – This is the relative column number in the table_array. Number 1 corresponds to the leftmost column where the lookup_value is found. Data type for this argument should be number or a function that results to a number value.

[range_lookup] – In this 4th argument, excel is asking us if we are looking into a range in the lookup_value. Argument can be True or False. When we input True, it means approximate match of the lookup_value while False will mean that it will only consider the exact match. 1 can also mean True while 0 or omitting this argument will mean False.
range look up


These are examples of Vlookup.exact vlookup

The formulas

for B11 =VLOOKUP(A11,A1:C9,2,FALSE)

and for C11 =VLOOKUP(A11,A1:C9,3,FALSE)


Notice the difference? They only differ in their 3rd argument which is the column_index_number. The Price used 2 because it was in the 2nd column of the table while Available QTY used 3 because it was in the 3rd column.


Published by Cash Heaven

Excel Expert and Financial Analyst Excel / Google Sheets / Financial Modelling, Valuation and Analysis Effective communicator / High quality / Affordable / Reliable / Quick Turnover I've successfully completed over 200 financial modelling, valuation and analysis projects with start-up stage and corporate companies over the past 4 years. I love to solve problems, have an eye for design, and have built business excel templates. I fix Excel formulas in 10 minutes.

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